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Addicted to pornography and masturbation

Mar 29, 2011

I'm HIV positive and I use pornography as a way to make myself feel good. First I was attracted to watching women with men porn, then I started watching transsexual porn, then I started watching men with men porn. I have become more and more desensitized watching porn and spend hours on end looking for porn on the computer. If I had money I would try and go out and seek sex with transsexual prostitutes but I have a limited income on SSDI. I find women and transsexuals very attractive but I am non functional when I am with someone so I avoid any sexual contact or relationship with anyone. I'm ruled by porn. I isolate myself from people and I am not sure about my sexuality because i watch so much porn. Please help with any insight

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Viewing pornography - especially on the computer - provides a nearly-perfect situation in which the brain can become addicted. Intense focus and provocative images release brain chemicals, primarily dopamine, that produce feelings of pleasure and a compulsion to continue the behavior. These images have a short "shelf-life" because they quickly lose their ability to produce excitement, causing the viewer to seek more in terms of quantity and variety. This behavior numbs, excites, or provides fantasy which causes unexpressed emotions to be deeply buried. There is help available in the form of support groups (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous or Sex Addicts Anonymous). Several good books are available (Weiss and Schneider "Untangling the web: sex, porn, and fantasy obsession in the internet age" and Carnes "In the shadows of the net: breaking free from compulsive online sexual behavior," to name a few). There is a strong sense of loneliness in your question. I would encourage you to push yourself to socialize more, including joining a support group to help you break free from this online behavior. Speak to your healthcare providers about other services that might be available, including individual counseling to work on intimacy issues. It won't be easy, but it can be done. -David

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